A Masterclass in partnership with the NGV exploring the Terracotta Warriors through short lectures, panel discussions and gallery floor talks.

The Terracotta Army is one of the great wonders of the ancient world, unknown to modernity until the local farmers of Lintong District stumbled upon them in 1974. The army of more than 8000 life-sized and unique warriors was created to guard the city-sized underground tomb of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shihuang, in 210-209 BCE. However, since their discovery, these fascinating objects have also had a part to play in the making of modern China.

As part of the University of Melbourne's Learning Partnership with the NGV exhibition Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality, this Melbourne Masterclass explored the ways in which these incredible artefacts embody a sense of place, culture and history.


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Armoured military officer
Qin dynasty 221-207 BCE
190.0 x 56.0 x 58.0 cm
Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum
Site Museum, Xi'an (002758)

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Installation view of Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality | Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape at NGV International, 24 May - 13 October 2019. Photo © Sean Fennessy